first_imgStay on target ‘Star Wars Pinball’ Has Your Favorite Brand in Ball FormSNES Games Officially Come to Nintendo Switch If you have a Nintendo Switch, chances are you also have The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. The new Zelda is a massive, phenomenal game that you can and should play for dozens of hours. But eventually, you’re going to want to play something new on your Nintendo console/handheld hybrid. Switch Games That Aren’t Zelda is a new column highlighting cool, smaller Switch games to check out once you’ve saved Hyrule.Death Squared (not to be confused with Hideo Kojima’s upcoming baby oil visual essay Death Stranding) is a Steam/console game from a few months ago that’s getting some love again because it’s also now on the Nintendo Switch. It’s a story we’ve seen play out a few times now and it’s easy to see why. Indie games need more attention, and the Switch needs more Games That Aren’t Zelda, so everybody wins. Fortunately, many of these games are pretty great and totally deserve the second look on the new platform, and that includes Death Squared.Death Squared is a $15 puzzle game that reminds me of a few other puzzle games of similar scope. So maybe it’s best to explain it using those comparisons.Arguably Death Squared’s biggest influence is Valve’s seminal first-person puzzle game Portal. Each puzzle is a sterile, mechanical test chamber where players are egged on by snarky narrators. Instead of moving around a Companion Cube, players are the cubes and try to position themselves to the right point on the map without falling off or getting hit by spikes or lasers. Expect to die a lot. Death is right in the name. You can always see your total death count and deaths determine your somewhat meaningless score. Your deaths also inspire a lot of macabre jokes from your jailers.However, the Portal comparisons are more surface-level. In terms of gameplay, Death Squared is closer to the much cuter fellow Switch puzzle game Snipperclips. The goal of every puzzle isn’t to move one box to the goal but to move at least two in tandem using both analog sticks. This could be as simple as using one box to shield another from the colored laser that damages it, or as complicated as stacking boxes on top of each other to ferry them through colored force fields and hit buttons to raise elevators to reach the goals.While you’re not cutting shapes, controlling and coordinating two characters at once while reasoning in 3D space breaks your brain in a satisfying way similar to Snipperclips’ single-player mode or Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons. And when four players team up, the “creative” co-op communication you’ll need to learn with your frenemies is very similar to Snipperclips. “Get on top of me!” This system even makes colored Joy-Con worth it. It’s a lot easier to keep things straight when I know the red Joy-Con controls the red box and the blue Joy-Con controls the blue box.Speaking of boxes, while this comparison may be little tenuous, to me all of Death Squared’s physics-based box manipulation made it feel like a 3D version of Nintendo’s low-key 3DS puzzle-platformer franchise BoxBoy. The developers at SMG Studio should add support for the Japan-only BoxBoy amiibo.Those are all great, different kinds of puzzle games, and by sharing elements from each of them, Death Squared becomes a great, different kind of puzzle game itself. The mental effort sometimes required meant I could only really do 1-3 puzzle at a time, but with 80 puzzles, that just means the game will last for a while. In a world full of serviceable but flat-looking mobile puzzle games, it’s also just nice to play a portable puzzle game with both mechanical and visual depth. The colorful glowing boxes contrast nicely with the stark labs and figuring out how to navigate the 3D grids graphically is rarely an issue.Of all of Valve’s franchises the mostly non-violent and bite-sized Portal always seemed like the most Nintendo-friendly to me. Who knows if we’ll ever see it on Switch, but if you’re looking for something that hits that puzzle sweet spot as well as a few others, check out Death Squared.Want to learn more? Here’s everything you need to know about the Nintendo Switch.Buy it now!The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the WindNintendo SwitchEssential Nintendo Switch AccessoriesView as: One Page Slides1/51. Death Squared is a cooperate puzzle game about moving boxes. It has more character than that description implies.2. The goal of every puzzle isn’t to move one box to the goal but to move at least two in tandem using both analog sticks.3. Puzzles could be as simple as using one box to shield another from the colored laser that damages it, or as complicated as stacking boxes on top of each other to ferry them through colored force fields and hit buttons to raise elevators to reach the goals. 4. When four players team up, the “creative” co-op communication you’ll need to learn with your frenemies is very similar to Snipperclips.5. The mechanical test chamber settings and snarky narrators recall Valve’s seminal bite-sized first-person puzzle game Portal.Let us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey.last_img